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Poole Hooding Ceremony: Celebrating the history and future of Jenkins graduates

The light brown color of the hood signifies a degree in management, whereas the red and white represents that the degree is from NC State University.

Every May since 1992, the faculty and staff of the Poole College of Management have celebrated the stellar achievements of graduating Jenkins program students. On Thursday, May 10, Poole continued that tradition –– by creating a new one –– with the inaugural Jenkins Graduate Hooding Ceremony.

Meymandi concert hall in downtown Raleigh (part of the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts) hosted 254 graduating students and their guests Thursday, May 10 at 2 p.m. This ceremony served to complement the upcoming commencement in PNC Arena while giving special recognition to Jenkins Graduate students in economics, accounting and business administration.

“The graduate hooding ceremony signifies an academic and personal achievement. The hood is a special part of the academic regalia that demonstrates scholarly and professional achievements, and it is reserved for individuals who have attained academic degrees beyond the bachelor’s degree,” said Annette L. Ranft, dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Chair at the Poole College of Management.

History of the hooding ceremony

The hooding ceremony, believed to have originated in European universities in the 12th century, was first instituted to recognize graduating students as they entered into their scholarly careers. Hooded robes, often required for warmth in unheated medieval libraries, were first used as a practical uniform for scholars as they studied and produced written works. With the introduction of the printing press in the 15th century, robes became largely symbolic. Universities began to differentiate students by their academic majors, and colors were added to the robes to signify those distinctions. Hoods later became detached ornaments, presented to graduates as part of their commencement.

Hoods are still used today to represent a commitment to a scholarly life. While modern day undergraduates wear robes and caps, those with masters or doctorate degrees are presented with hoods to show their continued pursuit of knowledge. Poole graduates on Thursday, May 10 were adorned with a light brown color (pictured above) that signifies their focus on management careers. These hoods are an expression of tradition and will be used to communicate the wearer’s school, degree, field, etc. for the rest of their lives.

Jenkins Graduate Students preparing for commencement.

Starting a new Jenkins tradition

The Jenkins Graduate Programs in the Poole College of Management have built a reputation for offering future-focused, top-ranked, high-ROI graduate management programs. Dean Ranft, leading Poole since 2016, understands the contribution that graduate students have given over the years. In creating this ceremony, she hopes to highlight those efforts.

“We wanted to thank our graduate students for how they have contributed to the college community during their time with us. From serving as teaching assistants to supporting groundbreaking faculty research to lending their talents to interdisciplinary project teams –– and much more –– they’ve enriched Poole College during their time here,” said Ranft.

“We also wanted to recognize those who supported them along the way as they moved through their studies to achieve their goals. For many of the families, graduate school was a team sport requiring dedication –– and sometimes sacrifices –– in pursuit of the end goal. This ceremony gives supporters a show of our appreciation for all that they have done to make this day a reality,” said Ranft

The hooding ceremony was the beginning of commencement activities at the Poole College of Management. On Thursday faculty, staff and guests recognized three doctoral degrees in economics, one Master of Science degree in economics, 10 master’s degrees in economics, 113 master’s degrees in accounting and 127 master’s degrees in business administration.

On Saturday, May 12 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, the official conferring of degrees took place from 12 p.m.-2 p.m. This included the 254 graduate students as well as 675 undergraduates.

Find more information regarding commencement events here.